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Traveller Behaviour: Decision making in an unpredictable world

By P.W. Bonsall


This paper discusses the nature and consequences of uncertainty in transport systems. Drawing on work from a number of fields, it addresses travellers’ abilities to predict variable phenomena, their perception of uncertainty, their attitude to risk and the various strategies they might adopt in response to uncertainty. It is argued that despite the increased interest in the representation of uncertainty in transport systems, most models treat uncertainty as a purely statistical issue and ignore the psychological aspects of response to uncertainty. The principle theories and models currently used to predict travellers’ response to uncertainty are presented and number of alternative modelling approaches are outlined. It is argued that the current generation of predictive models do not provide an adequate basis for forecasting response to changes in the degree of uncertainty or for predicting the likely effect of providing additional information. A number of alternative modelling approaches are identified to deal with travellers’ acquisition of information, the definition of their choice set and their choice between the available options. The use of heuristic approaches is recommended as an alternative to more conventional probabilistic methods

Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Year: 2004
OAI identifier:

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